This is not your average chicken dish. It may look fairly ordinary in the photos but this chicken is particularly royal. Drenched in a champagne mushroom sauce, it’s fit for a King…or a special occasion such as New Years. I would recommend making this with leftover champagne after new years but for many of us, “leftover” champagne is usually non-existent. In this case, get the party started early by opening that bottle while cooking new years eve dinner and toast to the chef.
This recipe comes from “The Art of Good Cooking” and can easily be halved. Sparkling wine may also be substituted for the champagne, making it a bit more the budget friendly. The chicken is actually cooked in the champagne (or wine) sauce, absorbing its sweet fruity tones. Mushrooms are added and the sauce is then thickened further with egg yolk and cream (substitute half and half if you would like). And since it wouldn’t be a Paula Peck dish without fresh parsley – the sauce is finished with chopped fresh parsley as well as tarragon. Simple yet deliciously rich, this chicken is the perfect side- kick for that champagne toast. Happy New Year!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 chicken legs, skinned
6 chicken thighs, skinned
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper
2 cups champagne or sparkling wine (approximately)
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced and sauteed 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Melt butter in a broad heavy pan over medium heat. Add chicken legs and thighs and sauté slowly, turning frequently, until chicken loses its pink color on the outside. Add shallots and continue to sauté until they are soft. Remove chicken and keep warm.
Stir flour into pan. Cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Add dried tarragon, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and whisk in champagne. Return chicken to sauce. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, until chicken is just tender and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove chicken pieces to a platter and keep warm.
Add sauteed, sliced mushrooms to sauce. If sauce seems thin, raise heat to reduce it a little, while stirring, being careful not to scorch the sauce. Remove from heat.
Whisk cream and egg yolks together. Stir this mixture into sauce. Replace over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens a little more. Add tarragon and half the parsley. Taste for seasoning and pour over chicken.
Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck.